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School Details

The University of South Dakota, first opening in the 1870s, is a public, four-year institution of higher education located in the city of Vermillion, South Dakota.


The University of South Dakota was founded as a result of the first Legislature of the Dakota Territory. In that meeting, the legislature established the University at Vermillion, which makes what is now the University of South Dakota the oldest institution of higher learning in the Dakotas. However, classes at this university would not be in session for another 20 years. The mission of the University of South Dakota is “The University of South Dakota offers undergraduate, graduate and professional programs within the South Dakota System of Higher Education. As the oldest university in the state, the University of South Dakota serves as the flagship and the only public liberal arts university in the state”.

The University of South Dakota is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and has continuously earned that accreditation since 1913. In addition to overall accreditation, some programs at the university have earned independent accreditations from other organizations and agencies. This includes, but is not limited to the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, the National Association of Schools of Arts and Design, the Association of University Programs in Health Administration, the Accrediting Council on Education and Journalism, and the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.


The colleges, schools, and divisions that make up the University of South Dakota are: College of Arts and Sciences, Beacom School of Business. School of Education, College of Fine Arts, School of Health Sciences, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, and the Graduate School. The School of Law was established in 1901, the School of Medicine in 1907, the Graduate School in 1927, the Continuing Education program in 1916, and the College of Fine Arts in 1931. The university offers 132 undergraduate programs and 66 graduate programs. The top fields of study are nursing, business, psychology, elementary teacher education, and biology.


The Beacom School of Business, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, the Graduate School, and the School of Health Sciences all offer degree and certificate programs in a completely online format. In addition, an individual can earn degrees and certificates through distance and off-campus programs in Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Pierre, and Sioux City, Iowa. 

Accreditation & Licensing

North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

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